Best Idea for Breakfast in the history of the world: AYCE French Toast at Kneader's. Think about it: It's all you can eat, it's breakfast, it's FRENCH TOAST! I could not believe it. AND best of all, it was actually completely fantastic. The pieces were huge, it came with strawberries and whip cream, and also some sort of narcoticly addicting cinnamon syrup concoction that was to die for. I am still remembering it as a top ten breakfast moment of my life. Put it on your list of things to do in Utah. Well worth the $4.99.
The rest of Saturday was spent doing, what my brother-in-law Robert refers to as "Utah Errands"- so we went to the Church Bookstore, Tai Pan Traders housewares store- and this is what Cindy thought of that little outing:
Mostly due to the fact that she found the best butterfly catching net in that store and mean old Mom would not allow it to be purchased and carried on the plane ride home. We all know who ends up doing the work, okay.
Mom and I also went to the Quilted Bear (Utah Mormon Handicraft store extraordinaire). I did actually find a nice little present for Cindy for Christmas in there. Yay.
That night we did one of my all-time favorite meals- store fried chicken, macaroni salad, chips, beans, rolls- you know, standard picnic fare. I seriously can't get enough of that stuff.
Saturday night we celebrated actual Pioneer Day and the great Legacy of our Mormon Forebears by lying on the blanket in the grass and enjoying some overpriced Chinese-made firework fountains. We even did tanks!!
And somewhere that day, perhaps late at night and in the car, my dad and I composed, what I think is, The Best Poem Written on My Vacation:
(Well, actually I know it is the best poem, because it was the only one)
I once tried to write a haiku
Which proved to be too hard to do
I had a hard time,
making it rhyme
and then learned that haiku's don't.
Good times :) Sunday was a long day for me. Mostly because it was church, but without Jacob and Luke. I really did miss them. And seriously, who has Sacrament Meeting LAST? That was just plain weird! On the up-side however, my cousin Becca had to give her first talk ever in church that day, so we all got to be there! Very cool! And she did a fantastic job. Two thumbs up on that one :) It was after church that we also discovered....
The Best Name in the World for a Street: Cindy Lane.
In fact, their chapel is referred to as "the Cindy Lane Chapel." Because saying just "the Chapel" in Utah is like asking for just "Dr. Patel" when you call the hospital. You have to be a little more specific.
We met up with my Aunt Ann for dinner that night and had a very pleasant evening together. Even learned a new card game, Hand and Foot, that required 7 decks of cards!
Monday we actually headed to Provo for a four-pronged attack. Our mission was to: Shop for Brian and Kelly and fill up their pantry and fridge nice and tight. (Check!) Pop in to the Clyde Building at BYU for a quick surprise visit to my old roomie Krista. (It took two tries, but Check!) Hit the BYU bookstore for some sweet BYU t-shirts and other paraphernalia. (Oh yeah!) Get my glasses fixed because I was a dolt and stepped on them Sunday night. Which I will classify as the...
Best Bad News/Good News Moment of the trip.
Me: "Dang! "my glasses are broken and I have to buy totally new frames!"
Cindy: "Sweet! Mom's glasses are broken and she has to buy totally new frames, which means I get to keep and wear her old ones all day every day!!"
Seriously, Cindy was thrilled. Here we are, two peas in a big goofy pod.
And Cindy and I took this sweet picture at BYU, which was so meant to be. I mean, the ONE day of the trip she decides to wear knee-length shorts was this day. I'm getting a little misty-eyed!
That pretty much wrapped up the trip for my parents, who headed to the airport after that. We said a very heartfelt goodbye to to Aunt, Uncle and cousins. Cindy had to say goodbye to Ginger and Becca a few times to finally break free. (Insert the song "Wind Beneath My Wings" as you view the following pictures...)
My flight left at 1am that night, so I had some time to kill. I was dropped off at Jacob's Grandma's house in Salt Lake for a little visit. We visited with Grandma for a just a while, but enough time in which Cindy could get out all Grandma's music boxes and wind them up for a simultaneous serenade of wonder.
Then Grandma dropped us off at the TRAX station so we could ride it all the way to the Gateway in downtown Salt Lake. We had made plans to see a movie with Nathan and Linnley at 6:30, so we had a nice ride down to meet them. Cindy loved the ride and discovered that they don't really wait very long for you to find a seat :)
Here she is at the Courthouse stop ordering a pizza....
Okay, just goofing around is more like it. My coupon karma was strong that night because I got to use a coupon I caught at the parade on Friday. It was for a kid's meal at Jason's Deli, and there happened to be one right there at the Gateway. Score! It was actually very, very good. They even had free ice cream and free Wi-Fi. Double Score!
Waiting to meet Nathan and Linnley outside...
The movie was pretty good- Despicable Me. If you like Steve Carell you will like this movie. After a pretty darn tasty Oreo chocolate apple for dessert, Nate and Linnley took us to the airport. And so the trip was almost done! The flights home were pretty full and long. Cindy, of course, slept like a log the entire way. I was pretty much in agonizing, aching pain from a horribly uncomfortable sleepless night by the time we landed at 10:15am in Florida. BUT, we got to be there for Brian's big day and be with family to celebrate, so it was all definitely worth it.
And now, a few final awards:
MVP of the entire trip: Oh, Claude! My iPod.
I bought an iPod Touch specifically because I thought it could help with the long travel time for Cindy and boy did it come in handy! I love that thing! It had music, games, my scriptures, notepad for writing down afore-mentioned poems- it just was awesome. I brought a wall charger to keep it powered and it was fantastic. Oh,Claude! I love you.
Best Name for a High School: Bingham High! My cousin graduated from here and I have always been aware of this school, but finally the official photo op came about!
Best Utah-isms I heard while on my trip:
Utah is such a unique place. Only in a mormon-saturated land such as this could you experience things like
Seeing a giant billboard on I-15 advertising "Gourmet Food Storage"
hearing your Sunday School teacher say, "I prepared this lesson while I was at Lagoon yesterday, so my manual is still a bit wet"
telling your aunt that the local Wal-Mart in Florida took out their fabric department completely and having her stare at you blankly and ask, "How else can you make your Trek clothes?"
Stand in the Utah Wal-Mart admiring the entire Food Storage Aisle and have the stock guy tell you, "You should see it at Conference!"
when you ask your brother-in-law how you can tell when the Bountiful parade is over, he says, "Oh, there's a float with a guy saying a closing prayer and it just goes down the street."
Yes, those were some amazing moments. (Totally a joke about the closing prayer float being real. At least I think it's not real...)
Finally, my dear blog readers, I have one more award, and it is for The Most Ridiculous and Confounding thing I have EVER, EVER, EVER seen in SkyMall magazine. EVER. Did I already type the word EVER?
Seriously, we all know that magazine is filled with totally weird, mostly overpriced eccentric stuff. But I am not just talking about a sensor in your house that alerts you when your mail arrives outside in the mailbox, or an indoor dog restroom or even the electric Snuggie. No, I am talking about something so pointless I am still in shock 8 days after I first saw it. I just don't understand it's existence. At all. And so now, brace yourself, for this: (scan down a foot or two)
The Brobdingnagian Sports Chair
And I quote, "This is the portable chair that elevates your physical stature at any outdoor event. Measuring 5-1/2' tall, the chair is certain to provide stadium seating at any venue, and its 9' sq. seat affords ample room for fullbody gesticulations. The lofty seat elevates feet well above the ground, where they're free to dangle and sway. The reinforced powder-coated steel frame and 400-denier rip-stop canvas support up to 400 lbs. The chair folds to just 8-1/2" wide for transport in the included duffle bag." $149.99
DID YOU SEE IT? DO YOU UNDERSTAND IT? No! Of course you don't! No one can! It's just a GIANT CHAIR! Why on earth we need this chair? It just makes the owner look like a hobbit! Can you imagine showing up at your kids' soccer game and sitting in this thing? In the presence of other people? And I am not even going to comment on what "fullbody gesticulations" they are referring to in the description...Oh my goodness. I still refuse to accept that this chair can be justified. It is so utterly bizarre and strange! Why, oh why SkyMall? I pretty much do not have to read that catalogue ever again because nothing can top that. Nothing. For the rest of my life. And Brobdingnagian? Could they pick a more obscure reference than that? I think not! Only my Dad knew what that meant, and if you don't, well, may I refer you to a little thing called Wikipedia? Just type in "worst ideas ever" and this thing will come right up.
So there you have it! Another year, another awards ceremony comes to a close. I guess I better go blow out the giant torch in my backyard. See you next July!